The Outlaw of Torn

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 105

to the
noble's rescue, and so the outlaw was forced to fly with the girl lest
he be overcome by numbers, and the girl thus fall again into the hands
of her tormentor.

"But this crude outlaw was not satisfied with merely rescuing the girl,
he must needs mete out justice to her noble abductor and collect in full
the toll of blood which alone can atone for the insult and violence done

"My Lady, the young girl was Joan de Tany; the noble was My Lord the
Earl of Buckingham; and the outlaw stands before you to fulfill the duty
he has sworn to do. En garde, My Lord!"

The encounter was short, for Norman of Torn had come to kill, and he had
been looking through a haze of blood for hours--in fact every time he
had thought of those brutal fingers upon the fair throat of Joan de Tany
and of the cruel blow that had fallen upon her face.

He showed no mercy, but backed the Earl relentlessly into a corner
of the room, and when he had him there where he could escape in no
direction, he drove his blade so deep through his putrid heart that the
point buried itself an inch in the oak panel beyond.

Claudia Leybourn sat frozen with horror at the sight she was witnessing,
and, as Norman of Torn wrenched his blade from the dead body before him
and wiped it on the rushes of the floor, she gazed in awful fascination
while he drew his dagger and made a mark upon the forehead of the dead

"Outlaw or Devil," said a stern voice behind them, "Roger Leybourn owes
you his friendship for saving the honor of his home."

Both turned to discover a mail-clad figure standing in the doorway where
Norman of Torn had first appeared.

"Roger!" shrieked Claudia Leybourn, and swooned.

"Who be you?" continued the master of Leybourn addressing the outlaw.

For answer Norman of Torn pointed to the forehead of the dead Earl of
Buckingham, and there Roger Leybourn saw, in letters of blood, NT.

The Baron advanced with outstretched hand.

"I owe you much. You have saved my poor, silly wife from this beast,
and Joan de Tany is my cousin, so I am doubly beholden to you, Norman of

The outlaw pretended that he did not see the hand.

"You owe me nothing, Sir Roger, that may not be paid by a good supper. I
have eaten but once in forty-eight hours."

The outlaw now called to Shandy and his men, telling them to remain on
watch, but to interfere

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